Sunday, May 29, 2011

Roasted Cabbage - SCD

There was a head of cabbage in my CSA box. I've never been a cooked cabbage fan, but ever since I tried roasted Brussels sprouts I have wondered if the same technique could work for cabbage. Yes it does!  This came out sweet with a bit of crunch, not soggy and strong like my childhood memories of cabbage. Plus it's easy.

Roasted Cabbage

1 medium head Savoy Cabbage
3/4 cup Broth or Consomme
5 TBSP Butter

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Butter a 9" x 13" baking dish.

Slice cabbage into 1/2" shreds, discard stem and core. Place cabbage shreds in baking dish. Pour broth over the top. Dot with pats of butter. Roast for 15 minutes. Flip the cabbage. Roast another 15 minutes. Makes about 4 to 6 servings.

Here are some more SCD friendly cooked cabbage recipes:

Roasted Cabbage with Lemon from Kaylyn's Kitchen

Roasted Cabbage with Bacon from the Kitchn

Roasted Cabbage and Kale Chips from Yard Farm

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples from Jill's Test Kitchen

Cider Braised Red Cabbage and Apples from Healthy Living Market

Stuffed Cabbage from Comfy Belly

This recipe is linked to Pennywise Platter Thursday, Real Food Weekly, Fightback Friday, and Traditional Tuesdays.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Crockpot is My Stockpot - Homemade Beef Broth and Consomme (SCD, GFCF)

I've finally had success making beef broth in the crockpot. The secret, besides roasting bones with a little meat on them, is a low setting for 24 hours. Roasting them first removes fat and browns the bones for better flavor. I used soup bones that were about 3 to 4 inches in diameter, cut about an inch thick, and still had a few chunks of meat on them. This recipe made about 7-8 cups of broth. This broth had a good flavor and made a nice consomme too.

Stephanie of a Year of SlowCooking recommends adding cider vinegar about half way through to bring out the flavor. I forgot to do this, but will try next time.

Homemade Beef Broth

3 lbs (approx) Beef Soup Bones
10 cups (approx) Water
Veggies on hand such as onions, celery, and/or carrots (I used 6 Green Onions)
2 or 3 Bay Leaves
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put bones in a single layer on a roasting pan, and roast about 40 minutes, until browned. Place browned bones in crock pot, adding water and other ingredients. Cook for 24 hours on low setting. Note: make sure your low setting is able to bring it to a simmering boil, if not use higher setting.

Cool cooked broth to room temperature, pour into a pitcher, and refridgerate overnight. When chilled, scoop off layer of fat, if you're avoiding fat then discard, if you're embracing fat reserve it in the fridge for future use. Use broth within three days of put in freezer safe containers and freeze.

To make consomme, put broth in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Boil until it is reduced by half. This will have a nice "beefy" flavor that is good in recipes. You can also freeze consomme for future use.

This post is linked to Fresh Bite Fridays,a whole foods carnival, Fightback Friday, and Traditional Tuesdays.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Grain-Free Fig Bars - SCD

I've had bars on the brain. We have a family reunion coming up soon and bars are the perfect take along dessert. If you like Fig Newtons, you'll like these. However, they are soft like a "blondie"  rather than a cookie.

This is also my submission for this month's Go Ahead Honey It's Gluten-Free, hosted this month by Raj and Sonia of Flip Cookbook. The theme is Garden Tea Party. I thought these would be perfect, since they are a sweet nibble, perfect for tea. Right now in Texas it's ice tea season, but I think they will still go just fine.

Grain-Free Fig Bars

 7 or 8 ounces of Dries Figs, stems removed (I used Black Mission Figs)
1/4 cup Water
1/4 cup Honey

2 cups Almond Flour
1/2 teas. Sea Salt
1/2 teas. Baking Soda
1/3 (5 TBSP) Butter, melted
1/3 cup Honey
2 Eggs
1 teas. Vanilla Extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8" x 8" baking pan.

To make fig filling, remove stems from figs and add to a food processor with water and honey. Process until smooth. The goal is to make it smooth and spreadable, but somewhat thick. If it is too thick thin with another teaspoon of water.

To make the batter, in a medium mixing bowl combine almond flour, sea salt and baking soda. In another bowl stir butter and honey until smooth. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Stir into flour mixture. Spread half of the batter into the prepared baking dish. Drop fig filling onto batter by tablespoons and carefully spread:

Now, carefully spread the remaining batter on top:

Bake for about 45 minutes. You will need to check the center of the top for doneness, as the bars will look fully cooked but this area may still be a bit gooey. Store in the refrigerator.

This post is also linked to Fight Back Fridays, Traditional Food Tuesday Blog Hop, Real Food Weekly, and Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Taking the Plunge - Joining a CSA

I did it. I finally joined a CSA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It works a bit differently than the usual way you buy your produce. In a CSA you buy a share for that growing season, you pay an up front price and then each week you pick up a box with your share of that weeks harvest. The CSA farmer tries to grow a great assortment so your box has a good variety. Since it was my first year, I opted for a bi-weekly box. I love the idea of a CSA. I think it is good for local economies, I like knowing that my farmer doesn't use a multitude of pesticides, and I like that my produce wasn't trucked across the country using lots of petroleum in the process. The challenge for me will be to use my box of produce and trying not to waste any if possible. An even bigger challenge, however, is that I grew up avoiding vegetables, so I haven't worked with many greens, root vegetables and squashes. I want to incorporate more greens into my diet, so finding recipes I like will be an adventure. I have been preparing for over a year now by purchasing some books to help such as Greens Glorious Greens! byJohnna Albi and Catherine Walthers and From Asparagus to Zucchini by the Madison Area CSA. There are also some great CSA recipe websites. If I do stumble upon any great dishes, I'll pass them on.

If you want to find a CSA in your area check out Local Harvest.

Links for storing and using your CSA produce:

Maritquita Farms - Great resource for vegetable info and recipes!

Live Earth Farm CSA Notes from Debbie's Kitchen A ton of recipes, they've been adding recipes since 2002.

Anchor Run - Lots of recipes

This post is linked to Grain-Free Tuesdays.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Wheat Lectins, Soybean Lectins, and the GI Tract

Here is an interesting piece of research highlighted by David of Healthy Diets and Science. (David's site is fun to browse around in). The study is titled "Lectin-Based Food Poisoning: A New Mechanism of Protein Toxicity". In this study the researchers find the plant lectins wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) and soybean agglutinin (SGA) can not only inhibit repair of gi cells when damaged, they also can block mucus production that the body uses to lubricate damaged areas. Some interesting highlights:

"Areas of epithelial cell necrosis and even zones of complete epithelial cell denudation are seen in biopsies of the stomach and intestine of mammals and insects fed plant lectins. Indeed, the plant lectin may function as a natural insecticide. Epithelial cell microvilli particularly are affected by lectin exposure..."

"Epithelial cells lining the GI tract in vivo, unlike cells in vitro, are constantly exposed to mechanical stress and, consequently, frequently suffer plasma membrane disruptions. However, cell death is not the only outcome of this type of injury: cells are capable of rapidly repairing and thereby surviving plasma membrane disruptions. One key step of the repair mechanism, reviewed in, is exocytotic. For large disruptions, this exocytotic reaction functions by adding a ‘patch’ of intracellular membrane to plasma membrane surrounding the disruption site."

"Exocytosis, which is required for membrane repair, is likely targeted by this class of toxin: previous studies showed that lectins can inhibit exocytosis, and we show here that, in particular, mucin exocytosis, which is coupled to repair in the cells we have studied, is potently inhibited by lectins. Moreover, we have found (data not shown) that inhibition of repair is rapid in onset (<1 min after addition to cell medium) and rapidly reversed by lectin washoff ."

"Because lectins, based on the damage they do to the lining of the GI tract, and their hypertrophic effect, have been implicated in, respectively, celiac disease and cancer, knowledge of this mechanism may have implications beyond a better understanding of food poisoning."

This post is linked to Grain-Free Tuesdays and Fight Back Fridays.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Almond Flour Pancakes (SCD)

I didn't have enough eggs this morning to make our usual waffle recipe, so I tried adding one half cup of yogurt. Wafflewise it was a disaster, but pancakewise, it was delicious. These taste just like the gluten laden version.

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free, Grain-Free Tuesdays at HellaDelicious,  and Tuesdays at the Table at All the Small Stuff.

Almond Flour Pancakes

1 cup Almond Flour
1/4 teas. Baking Soda
1/4 teas. Sea Salt
1/2 cup Yogurt
2 TBSP. Honey
3 Eggs
1/2 teas. Vanilla Extract
1/4 teas. Almond Extract
Oil for Frying

In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients, then mix in other ingredients until smooth. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add small drops of batter, making pancakes about 3 inches in diameter each. Cook until golden brown on both sides. Makes about 12 pancakes.

Top with Raspberry Syrup.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Great Recipe - Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce from The Dairy Free Diva (SCD, GFCF, Nut-Free)

I saw this tasty recipe for Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce on Stephanie of The Dairy Free Diva's site. It sounded so yummy I immediately began to think of ways to use it. Shrimp Salad? On Mexican food? Hmmm. I just happened to have some cooked chicken breast in the fridge and it was perfect for chicken salad. The lime and cilantro flavors go so well with chicken. I used all mayo, instead of part mayo/part sour cream, and added it to one half pound of cooked and finely diced chicken breast. I now have a new favorite chicken salad for lunches. Thanks Stephanie!